London and South East

 

 


1 July

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight into the realities of trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It shows scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive including the massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle (the bloodiest single day in Britain’s military history) and depictions of the small gains and massive costs of the attack. The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals Britain’s commitment to the First World War. It is the source of many of that conflict’s most iconic images. It was made by British official cinematographers Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. Though it was not intended as a feature film, once the volume and quality of their footage had been seen in London, the British Topical Committee for War Films decided to compile a feature-length film.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.   Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.    Accompanied by a live performance from the Bands of the Household Division & The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra with the String Ensemble of the Royal Marines, London conducted by Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Roberts. The Royal Military Chapel, Birdcage Walk, London, SW1Link

2 July

Greed (Dir.  Erich Von Stroheim, US, 1924)  (Screening format – 35mm, 132mins) The story of a brutish, but basically good-natured, miner McTeague (Gibson Gowland), who after setting up as a dentist in San Francisco, falls in love with Trina (ZaSu Pitts) who was previously the girlfriend of McTeague’s best friend Marcus (Jean Hersholt).  Initially just mildly resentful when McTeague and Trina are married, Marcus becomes bitter when  Trina wins a fortune on the lottery and causes McTeague to loose his dental practise.  Corrupted by her financial gain Trina turns into a miserly shrew, hoarding her money to McTeague’s growing chagrin.  Eventually all of this boils over into violence and murder.  Filmed almost entirely on location and an almost page-by-page realisation of the Frank Norris novel it was based upon, Von Stroheim’s original cut of the movie came out at 42 reels or some ten hours of film.  Repeatedly edited down by the studio to a mere two and a half hours Von Stroheim decried the ‘butchering’ of his film and apparently refused ever to watch the finally released version. This version divided the critics, between those who regarded it as a masterpiece and those dismissing it as an ‘epic of the sewer’.   But by the early 1950s Greeds reputation began to grow, subsequently appearing on several lists of the greatest films ever made and remains extraordinary for its unflinching vision of the corrosive power of money..    The uncut version (believed to have been melted down by MGM to recover the silver nitrate content) has come to be known as the “holy grail” for film archivists, amid repeated false claims of the discovery of the missing footage.  Find out more at filmsite.org .  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  BFI Southbank, London    Link

3 July

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – 35mm, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at theguardian.com .   With recorded soundtrack.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

8 July

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – 35mm, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at theguardian.com .   With recorded soundtrack.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

9 July

Greed (Dir.  Erich Von Stroheim, US, 1924)  (Screening format – 35mm, 132mins) The story of a brutish, but basically good-natured, miner McTeague (Gibson Gowland), who after setting up as a dentist in San Francisco, falls in love with Trina (ZaSu Pitts) who was previously the girlfriend of McTeague’s best friend Marcus (Jean Hersholt).  Initially just mildly resentful when McTeague and Trina are married, Marcus becomes bitter when  Trina wins a fortune on the lottery and causes McTeague to loose his dental practise.  Corrupted by her financial gain Trina turns into a miserly shrew, hoarding her money to McTeague’s growing chagrin.  Eventually all of this boils over into violence and murder.  Filmed almost entirely on location and an almost page-by-page reasisation of the Frnk Norris novel it was based upon, Von Stroheim’s original cut of the movie came out at 42 reels or some ten hours of film.  Repeatedly edited down by the studio to a mere two and a half hours Von Stroheim decried the ‘butchering’ of his film and apparently refused ever to watch the finally released version. This version divided the critics, between those who regarded it as a masterpiece and those dismissing it as an ‘epic of the sewer’.   But by the early 1950s Greeds reputation began to grow, subsequently appearing on several lists of the greatest films ever made  and remains extraordinary for its unflinching vision of the corrosive power of money..    The uncut version (believed to have been melted down by MGM to recover the silver nitrate content) has come to be known as the “holy grail” for film archivists, amid repeated false claims of the discovery of the missing footage.  Find out more at filmsite.org .  With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London    Link

12 July

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – 35mm, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at theguardian.com .   With recorded soundtrack.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

The Home Maker (Dir. King Baggot, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 85mins(?) )  Based on the novel by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, when husband Lester Knapp (Clive Brook) attempts suicide after loosing his job he is left crippled and wheelchair bound.  His wife Eva (Alice Joy) is forced to become the bread-winner while Lester looks after the house and children.  Both wife and husband find themselves happier with this arangement but what will happen if Lester recovers use of his legs?  Find out more at stanford.edu .  With recorded soundtrack  Persephone Books, London WC1   Link

The 9.5 Show.  Another selection from Kevin Brownlow’s private archive of 9.5mm vitagraph films, feature releases edited down for the home market and often the only version of these films which have survived. Highlights will include After Midnight (1927), written and directed by Monta Bell and starring Norma Shearer, whose 1924 film The Trail of the Law was one of the recent unknown gems screened at Kennington Bioscope; the 1927 French drama La Glu, directed by Henri Fescourt with Germaine Rouer and Francois Rozet in the lead roles; and Frank Capra’s The Younger Generation (1929), adapted from a stage play by Fannie Hurst, which stars Jean Hersholt, Lina Basquette and Ricardo Cortez. Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  Introduced by Kevin Brownlow himself with live piano accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

13 July

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – not known, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favorable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org  Presented as part of the Deal Festival of Music and the Arts.  With live musical accompaniment by Minima and Stephen Horne.   The Astor Theatre, Deal. Link

16 July

Der Müde Tod (aka Destiny, aka Behind the Wall) (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 98mins)  Der Müde Tod (literally The Weary Death) has often been overlooked even amongst Lang’s earlier work but it is a film rich in expressionist imagery and featuring innovative special effects work. It has been hugely influential, with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman and Luis Buñuel citing it as a direct influence on their own work. In the film, a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen). Death weaves three romantic tragedies and offers to unite the girl with her lover, if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. Thus begin three exotic scenarios of ill-fated love, in which the woman must somehow reverse the course of destiny: Persia, Renaissance Venice, and a fancifully rendered ancient China.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  The new restoration of Der Müde Tod by Anke Wilkening on behalf of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung preserves the original German intertitles and simulates the historic colour tinting and toning of its initial release.  The film is accompanied by a recently-composed recorded score by Cornelius Schwehr.  Regent Street Cinema, London Link

18 July

Der Müde Tod (aka Destiny, aka Behind the Wall) (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 98mins)  Der Müde Tod (literally The Weary Death) has often been overlooked even amongst Lang’s earlier work but it is a film rich in expressionist imagery and featuring innovative special effects work. It has been hugely influential, with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman and Luis Buñuel citing it as a direct influence on their own work. In the film, a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen). Death weaves three romantic tragedies and offers to unite the girl with her lover, if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. Thus begin three exotic scenarios of ill-fated love, in which the woman must somehow reverse the course of destiny: Persia, Renaissance Venice, and a fancifully rendered ancient China.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  The new restoration of Der Müde Tod by Anke Wilkening on behalf of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung preserves the original German intertitles and simulates the historic colour tinting and toning of its initial release.  The film is accompanied by a recently-composed recorded score by Cornelius Schwehr. David Lean Cinema, Croydon  Link

23 July

Rails (aka Rotaie)(Dir. Mario Camerini, It, 1928) (Screening format -DCP, 74mins) Many associate Italian silent film with the great historical epics like Cabiria or The Last Days of Pompeii, but here is a fine exception that anticipates post-war neo-realism. Camerini’s fascist-era drama follows a young couple, social outcasts, fleeing from rural poverty to a potential suicide pact in the city. Their journey by train is a metaphor for the speed at which the empty promise of ‘modernisation’ was delivered. Alongside beautiful montage sequences and chiaroscuro lighting, the unknown actors add authenticity to the piece.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org  .    With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

Der Müde Tod (aka Destiny, aka Behind the Wall) (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 98mins)  Der Müde Tod (literally The Weary Death) has often been overlooked even amongst Lang’s earlier work but it is a film rich in expressionist imagery and featuring innovative special effects work. It has been hugely influential, with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman and Luis Buñuel citing it as a direct influence on their own work. In the film, a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen). Death weaves three romantic tragedies and offers to unite the girl with her lover, if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. Thus begin three exotic scenarios of ill-fated love, in which the woman must somehow reverse the course of destiny: Persia, Renaissance Venice, and a fancifully rendered ancient China.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  The new restoration of Der Müde Tod by Anke Wilkening on behalf of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung preserves the original German intertitles and simulates the historic colour tinting and toning of its initial release.  The film is accompanied by a recently-composed recorded score by Cornelius Schwehr. Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford Link

24 July

The Goldrush (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 95mins) A hapless prospector trudges his way through the Yukon during the 1890s Gold Rush where he survives assorted life-threatening perils, longs for a saucy saloon girl, and finally strikes the Motherlode. Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece dishes out one classic moment after another, alternately touching and hilarious.  Find out more at moviessilently.com .  With recorded score.  Regent Street Cinema, London.   Link

Der Müde Tod (aka Destiny, aka Behind the Wall) (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 98mins)  Der Müde Tod (literally The Weary Death) has often been overlooked even amongst Lang’s earlier work but it is a film rich in expressionist imagery and featuring innovative special effects work. It has been hugely influential, with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman and Luis Buñuel citing it as a direct influence on their own work. In the film, a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen). Death weaves three romantic tragedies and offers to unite the girl with her lover, if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. Thus begin three exotic scenarios of ill-fated love, in which the woman must somehow reverse the course of destiny: Persia, Renaissance Venice, and a fancifully rendered ancient China.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  The new restoration of Der Müde Tod by Anke Wilkening on behalf of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung preserves the original German intertitles and simulates the historic colour tinting and toning of its initial release.  The film is accompanied by a recently-composed recorded score by Cornelius Schwehr. Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford Link

 


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